"the angels; our guardians and guides, are genius at weaving seemingly unrelated threads into a recognizable whole"
That downward spiral was recently checked by two things that at first seem totally unconnected – but the angels; our guardians and guides, are genius at weaving seemingly unrelated threads into a recognizable whole. I received an email advertising a class in Photoshop for people with inspirational Facebook pages. It related the story of the teacher; who through her use of beautiful, uplifting graphics with encouraging, authentic messages, had parlayed her readership to upwards of 40,000! How awesome to touch the lives and hearts of that many people in positive ways. The class was online and would be recorded. The price wasn’t awful, but my current means are limited so I let the email sit and re-read it a few times considering until it became crystal clear that it was the right next step. I have always loved art; colors, patterns and melding pictures with the perfect quote to convey an emotion and message. I sent up a silent prayer and hit the “register” button.
My children will tell you that I haven’t come up for air yet. I’ve only had one class so far, but the information that we’ve been given along with the awesome power of the Elements program have kept my brain in a continual blur: gradients, brushes, filters and layers all dance in my head in place of sugar-plums. I feel like I’ve stepped through the doorway to a place of enchantment. We have a group on Facebook where classmates can share their latest attempts and discuss the virtues of text boxes versus objects, and simplicity versus the “I Spy-esque” largesse I favor. The tenor is respectful, the comments are supportive, and our teacher keeps order with a gentle, encouraging “voice.”
Until now, I’ve been choosing quotes that are safe and acceptable: noted authors like Mike Dooley, respected teachers like Mother Theresa, or short ubiquitous sayings that populate the internet like “Spread your wings and fly.” But for my project today, I chose to use my own words: naked and vulnerable. My explanatory posting started like this, “I'm a little scared to share this one…”
In March of this year, I was blessed to attend a week long yoga retreat on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. It was a gift and totally unexpected. Costa Rica was not on my bucket-list, but the travel companions were dear to me, and the idea of adventure was appealing. It was a beautiful setting in a lush rain-forest and it was wonderful living in community; eating local organic lovingly prepared food, meditating and practicing yoga twice-a-day, and the sound of the waves pounding the shore with macaws calling.
Very quickly, the group of loosely acquainted women became a cohesive tribe. Relationships sprouted, blossomed and grew as tropical days turned to star-drenched evenings and our sensitivity to myriad levels of moistness became acute. Our resort was eco-friendly meaning no air conditioning, no hair styling accoutrements and only the lone ceiling fan on a timer that needed to be restarted every 45 minutes. The yoga studio, situated on the second floor, had windows open in all directions to capture the wayward breezes creating an oasis of comfort, and languid ease.
On one of our last days, in said oasis, after an intense meditation - we were asked to gently open our eyes and just flow onto a paper, a note to ourselves; a message our Higher Selves wanted to convey. Near silent scribbling ensued until papers were quickly gathered up and whisked away. The moment passed, and soon with packing and good-byes; planes, trains and buses, we forgot the exercise in our transition back to daily life.
One afternoon, weeks later I was rushing through my day; irritated and frustrated - bills piled up, responsibilities dragging me down and feeling un-centered - I grabbed the mail out of the box carelessly, and an envelope caught my eye that was hand-addressed. Thoughtlessly, I ripped it open and beheld the first line,”Dearest Beloved One...” and it all came rushing back as I read those words, seemingly from a different person a world away - and I was brought to tears as I stood mute and motionless in the driveway; grieving for the loss of that wise-person, that sacred space, that authenticity and unity of purpose. I put it back quickly, like a sword into its sheath, and dropped it into the dark pocket at the end of my journal.
Today, I read it anew with fresh acceptance of the duality of our natures; with a new understanding and forgiveness for the person I am, straddling the slippery layers in the "jungles of time and space" as Mike Dooley most eloquently puts it. My return to the “classroom” has split something open within me and I was inspired to use my own words; to embrace my inner voice, and not just hide behind the words of "recognized" leaders, authors or authorities that seem "safe" to quote. Thank you dear teachers; Colleen and Jen in Costa Rica, and Laurel at Illuminating Souls - for creating safe, supportive and nurturing spaces where we can learn, share and grow. And thank you fellow adventurers, collaborators and kindred spirits, for your kindness, encouragement and unconditional acceptance. Namaste!
Hopes Restored, Spirits Lifted
Shauna ♥ Nouhra
Angel Therapy Practitioner
Cert by Doreen Virtue PhD
Kona, Hawaii 2008
Reiki Master 2014